Temple Student Government will accept applications for 2019-20 Executive Branch and Parliament candidates until March 1 at midnight, candidates will be announced to the Temple community on March 18.
IgniteTU, TSG’s current administration, and Parliament hope better social media outreach will encourage more people to run. Current TSG members will run an informational session about running for office on Feb. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Room 220 of the Student Center, said Hailey McCormack, IgniteTU’s communications director.
Last year, three executive teams ran for office, one of them withdrawing before elections. The 2018 election had a lower voter turnout than in 2017, with 4,505 votes cast.
Students with questions about the campaign process can stop by TSG’s office in room 244 of the Student Center, said Marissa Martini, the administration’s chief of staff.
“We want everyone to know that we’re a resource to be utilized if they want to talk about what it’s like to run in an election or have a position in TSG,” she said.
Executive team candidates will attend debates on March 21 and April 1 and elections will soon follow on April 2 and 3. The new administration for the 2019-20 academic year will be announced the following day. TSG has not yet announced the locations of the debates.
The executive team hopes Parliament representatives will also be open to talking about their positions, Martini said. The Executive Branch and Parliament will advertise elections through the same social media account to avoid confusion, McCormack said.
Razin Karu, the speaker of Parliament, said he expects to see more people run in the upcoming elections.
“The future is really bright,” he said. “I’ve seen people increasing participation in terms of voting and running. If more people vote and participate, we can work to enhance the experience of the students here.”
During the 2018-19 elections, 19 students ran to fill the 32 available seats in Parliament. All but three candidates ran unopposed.
Alex Rosenberg, Parliament’s junior class representative, said he passed a resolution, the Parliament Vacant Seat Act, which will have the body work with the elections commission to hold a second Parliament vote online during the summer if seats remain vacant after April’s general election.
“It will eliminate time spent on filling the body, allowing us to fill the seats before the start of the new semester,” Rosenberg said.
If there are still vacant seats, Parliament should add an additional round of parliamentary elections in Fall 2019, Karu said.
During last year’s elections, the body only filled half of its seats during the general election and spent a majority of Fall 2018 trying to fill them. Seven seats still remain vacant as of Monday.
Rosenberg said having a diverse candidate pool will make Parliament stronger.
“Hearing fresh voices is always great,” Rosenberg said. “The more voices heard presents more ideas and discussion in the body. More discussion creates the best policy.”